There appears to be dismay and alarm in the normally tranquil world of over 50s cricket. These brave boys represent their County Boards throughout the season, hacking hell out of each other on a Sunday afternoon for the glory of … yes, a Lord’s Final.
Sponsored by Simvastatin, the sheer majesty of the event, with Motobility scooters parked along the concourse overlooking the McCarthy and Stone Nursery, brings tears to sentimental eyes.
A tented community mushrooms overnight for the sale of athletic supports, embrocation, steroids, retirement homes and discrete escort services. Leslie Philips leads communal singing of Sweet Virginia and other old Rocker favourites. Pony tails and earings abound as the last of the baby boomers come to terms with their end of youth crisis.
But lo, news has reached Third Man that the 44 members of this year’s semi-final teams have got wind. They have got wind that their prized ‘Lord’s final’ is to be held in the back field of the Lord Derby public house thanks to the sheer alleged treachery of Giles Clarke, who is to blame what a lightning conductor is to … lightning.
The Hon Sec of Somerset’s 50 Plusers has fired off a letter to the said Clarke (copy below for those with sufficient stamina to read on).
Sadly the old timers may have become slightly confused in their twilight world of sagging medium term memories. As this programme from last year’s final records, the competition has been played since 1984 and of the 26 previous finals only one, that of 2008, had taken place on the hallowed Nursery at Lord’s.
However, those who follow the journeys, explorations and ramblings of Third Man will agree that a man like Mr Clarke every now and then needs to receive a letter from the grass greyroots of the game. It reads:
Mr Giles Clarke, Chairman of the Board Marylebone Cricket Club, Lords, St Johns Wood, London (typical EOD confusion of roles here – TM)
Dear Mr Clarke
Firstly may I comment that I have seldom written to someone in such high office that has not been ennobled or, at the very least, received a knighthood. I am sure that this oversight will be remedied come Her Majesty’s birthday honours list.
You may remember me, I once offered my services to one of your former employees, Pete M, who didn’t even give me the courtesy of a reply. And I made a particular mention of my NVQ level 2 in coaching and leadership. Water under the bridge, let’s not dwell on the past as it is the near future that I wish to discuss with you.
When Somerset Over 50s set out on the journey to Lords, I, and I think I can speak for the rest of the squad, made the assumption that the final would be at Lords. I am hearing ugly rumours that the venue for the final may now be held at Derby. The reason put forward is that, too much cricket is being played at Lords. As honorary Assistant Groundsman at Baltonsborough Cricket Club (Somerset Shrubbery Hotel League Division 5 winners 2009), I know the work load requires total commitment. We’ve got the Baltonsborough Show this weekend, and last year our Chairman got pissed and somehow set fire to the wicket. I bet Mike Hunt hasn’t had to contend with that one, well not since George Innocent Davis got banged up anyway.
Now, although it is not in my gift to get you into the squad for the final, we’ve got a friendly coming up and I could have a word with Captain Ashbon. ( By the way, I had a look at your web site and note that there are 16 on the Cricket Committee, 12 on the Board, 6 on the Audit Committee, 3 on the Commercial Committee and 3 more on the Remuneration Committee, I’m staggered that any decisions get made with that lot. It must be like herding cats) . Paul Ashbon is a member of the M.C.C. and I only mention his name so that you can interrogate your data base to find out just how important he really is. You may find him under Ashton, he briefly adopted the ‘T’ to get his Equity Card.
Mrs S would also be grateful for a final in St Johns Wood. As a loyalty gold card holder at Matalan, she has been invited to the “In Store Cava and Brown Buffet” opening of their new store at Brent Cross. It’s being opened by Ken Barlow off Coronation Street, I don’t know his real name, but she’s really keen on him, more so than the clothes if I’m a good judge.
If you can swing it for the over 50s final to be held at Lords we have only a few requests to make the occasion complete:
1. My Gloucester Old Spot, Rita, will need a farrowing pen as her ‘confinement’ is due to end that weekend.
2. Don’t go to any trouble with any of your fancy wines, we always bring our own Natural Dry “On The Levels” cider.
3. Do you have any advice (a pamphlet would be nice) on areas where we can pick a good fight?
4. Please ask Mick to leave some grass on the wicket, the bowlers could do with the help, and the batters just twat it.
5. If you’re looking to change your motor, just give me a call.
6. I would like to pitch my yurt on the Saturday before, I trust the lavvies will be open.
Sir Giles, I know you’ll do your best. Don’t delegate this to anyone. If you can sort a bung for yourself by selling the TV rights to Sky, then fair play to you. I wont mention it.
Yours truly, AS, “Nice Areas”, M3 Corridor of Uncertainty, BA1 1NO